Armed ViolenceNews

Thousands Flee As UN Forces And Rebels Clash In Central African Republic

Thousands of villagers have fled into the bush following clashes between forces of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and units of the Retour, Reclamation et Rehabilitation rebel movement popularly known as 3R, in Bocaranga. The fighting which started on Tuesday, June 29, 2020, is still raging, according to latest reports from the area.

Eyewitness accounts say the clashes described as “very violent”, started when fighters of the 3R movement attacked a MINUSCA replenishment convoy in the locality of Mont Yade, situated about 25km from the sub prefecture of Bocaranga.

“The fighting started in the morning of June 29 and is continuing at this moment with a rare intensity. Several fighters have been wounded on both sides and the frightened population have abandoned the zone to seek refuge in the bushes,” an eye witness told journalists in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui.

An official of an international humanitarian organisations in the country, who opted for anonymity, said, “The rebels of 3R are believed to have received information that a replenishment team of MINUSCA made up of soldiers of the Central African Republic Armed Forces (FACA) intended to launch an assault against 3R forces,” thus the ambush that led to the clash.

FACA soldiers attached to MINUSCA were posted to the area for reinforcement and one MINUSCA soldier is reported to have been killed with several wounded.

Meanwhile, following the clashes, several non-governmental organisations carrying out humanitarian activities in the area have suspended their operations and some have evacuated their personnel to Bouar leaving Bocaranga almost completely deserted.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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